One of the defining landmarks in Johannesburg, South Africa is the Coca-Cola dome: A 19,000-person arena sponsored by the beverage giant. Coke has become increasing popular in South Africa, where an average of 254 Coke products were consumed in 2010. That’s more than the international annual average of 89 per person and quickly approaching the 403 Coke products consumed by the average American. Read more
Would you change the way you eat if it kept you from getting cancer or stopped the disease in its tracks? Could you see yourself adding more sustainable, fresh local foods to your diet every day if it might prolong your life? Cancer researcher Dr. William Li, of the Angiogenesis Foundation, thinks you can.
Li’s work revolves around looking at the way that our blood vessels–every person has around 60,000–deliver oxygen and nutrients to the all our body’s organs, but can also feed cancers and grow tumors in the body. To prove his theory about the preventative powers of healthy food, his Angiogenesis Foundation has kicked off an Eat to Defeat campaign, that has a goal of signing up one million volunteers who are willing to increase their intake of healthy foods, and to become a part of his research. Read more
Over five million children ages four to 17 have been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the United States and close to 3 million of those children take medication for their symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control. But a new study reported in The Lancet last month found that with a restricted diet alone, many children experienced a significant reduction in symptoms. The study’s lead author, Dr. Lidy Pelsser of the ADHD Research Centre in the Netherlands, said in an interview with NPR, “The teachers thought it was so strange that the diet would change the behavior of the child as thoroughly as they saw it. It was a miracle, the teachers said.” Read more
The low-fat trend finally appears to be on its way out. The notion that saturated fats are detrimental to our health is deeply embedded in our Zeitgeist—but shockingly, the opposite just might be true. For over 50 years the medical establishment, public health officials, nutritionists, and dieticians have been telling the American people to eat a low-fat diet, and in particular, to avoid saturated fats. Only recently, have nutrition experts begun to encourage people to eat “healthy fats.”
Right now people are a little fearful of eggs, and who can blame them? The recent salmonella outbreak that resulted in the recall of half-a-billion eggs and sickened more than a thousand people across the country has left people wondering just how safe our food supply is. As a nutritionist, people ask me about this a lot—and what’s most important to understand is that all eggs are not created equal. The industrial food industry has taken our foods and made many of them unsafe. Not only this, but the nutritional value of our foods is intricately tied into this same industry. Which leads to another question I often hear: What are the healthiest foods? This should be an easy question to answer, but with the industrial food complex wrecking havoc on our food supply, things have become far more complicated. Read more
Spencer Wells’ sprawling new book Pandora’s Seed, which ruffled Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s feathers a few weeks ago, is ripe with fascinating theories and intriguing claims. The overarching theme of the book is the climate crisis we now face and what we as a species are going to do to survive. To get to this point, Wells takes the reader on an epic journey starting with an understanding of our Paleolithic ancestors and the transitions and adaptations we’ve made. In Wells’ view this hasn’t been a linear march forward — instead he argues that with all of our technology and progress we’ve gotten ahead of ourselves and are careening down a path towards devastation. Wells believes that the pace of our human innovation and progress has been so fast — speaking in evolutionary terms — that our biology has simply not had time to adapt to the changes in our diet and lifestyle. This, he says, has its root in the advent of agriculture some 10,000 years ago — a mere blink of the eye in the scope of human history. Read more
As Tom Vilsack and Tom Daschle assume their cabinet positions in the Obama administration as Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, respectively, they inherit mammoth challenges. Working together will be key to their success, because their work has a common denominator – food. Read more